На тему планар биндингов в 3.5 каноне и легитимности убийств забинденных аутсайдеров в частности
Like many of the chambers that honeycombed the underground realm of his pocket plane, Vhostym’s summoning chamber was a spherical cyst of stone with no apparent ingress or egress. Engraved runes traced in platinum and gold covered the walls. A circular slab of polished granite floated in midair in the center of the chamber. Upon its face was etched a thaumaturgic circle.
The chamber was unlit, though Vhostym could see well enough. In fact, the magical darkness in the chamber was so complete that not even magical light sources could penetrate it—a necessary precaution when summoning celestials. Though not even the strongest of the celestials could approach Vhostym in power, their ability to generate and radiate light could prove painful unless Vhostym took precautions.
He floated around the slab, running his long, pale fingers along the etching, examining the lines for imperfections. As expected, he found none.
Vhostym took a moment to prepare a few defensive spells, warding himself against all but the most powerful magic and rendering his body impervious to physical attack. Ready, he moved his hands in complex gestures. Waves of arcane power gathered, went forth from his fingers, and coalesced above the granite slab. The lines of the thaumaturgic circle began to glow a soft, almost imperceptible, yellow.
When the power reached the necessary level, Vhostym spoke aloud an arcane phrase and felt a hole open in the walls between the planes. He called the name of the celestial being he sought to summon.
“Phaedriel,” he pronounced.
Vhostym felt his magically augmented voice reach through the planes, find the deva, and try to pull the creature back to him. He felt the celestial’s resistance, but it lasted only a moment before being overpowered by the force of Vhostym’s calling.
A muted flash of pure white light flared in the midst of the summoning platform, forcing Vhostym to shield his eyes. Had he not prepared a spell ahead of time to mute it, the flash would have blinded him and charred his skin. When the spots from even that dim light cleared from before his eyes, Vhostym saw that his calling had been successful.
Phaedriel stood on the summoning platform, bound by the lines of power that went up from the floor. The tips of the deva’s feathered wings, white and opalescent even in the darkness, touched the edge of the binding. Pale gold skin covered the celestial’s perfectly proportioned, well-muscled body. A silver mace, powerfully magical, hung from the deva’s belt. Piercing white eyes gazed out from over an aquiline nose and strong jaw. The smell of flowers filled the summoning chamber. The deva surveyed the space.
“What is this plane?” said Phaedriel, in the purest tenor voice that Vhostym had ever heard.
“You are on a plane of my own devising,” Vhostym answered.
The celestial made no response, only fixed his eyes on Vhostym. A lesser being would have recoiled at the force emitted by those orbs, but Vhostym answered the deva’s stare with one of his own.
“What type of creature are you?” the deva asked at last. “Neither Githyanki nor Githzerai, but … similar.”
Vhostym replied, “I am nothing that you have encountered before, celestial. Nor will you encounter my kind again.”
The deva heard the threat in that last and his brow furrowed.
“We are not enemies, creature,” the celestial said.
He closed his eyes briefly and attempted to cast a spell, likely a divination or sending, but the casting failed, as Vhostym had known it would. The deva opened his eyes.
“Your binding prevents me the use of any magic,” the deva observed.
Vhostym did not bother to reply.
“What do you want of me then, creature?” the deva asked.
Vhostym saw no reason to lie.
“I want all of you, celestial,” he answered. “You will not leave this plane.”
Positive energy, a manifestation of the celestial’s anger, flared in a rosy-colored halo around the deva’s bald head. His downy wings fluttered in agitation.
“Your confidence is unwarranted,” the deva said.
Vhostym did not bother to correct the celestial’s misapprehension.
“I will fight you,” said the deva as he took up his mace.
“It will not avail you,” replied Vhostym, waving a hand dismissively. “You could not harm me even if you were free of the binding.”
“Allies will seek me,” Phaedriel said. “They will avenge me should I come to harm.”
“They will not find you,” replied Vhostym. “And even if they could find you, they would dare not come.”
Nothing short of a god would risk confrontation with Vhostym. In his time, he had single-handedly slain flights of dragons, annihilated entire faiths, left worlds in flame behind him. But he had been young then, and rash.
“You belong to me now, Phaedriel,” Vhostym said. “But fear not. Others of your kind will join you. You will not die alone.”
“Why?” the deva asked.
The radiance from his skin dimmed somewhat, and Vhostym almost smiled. He too had asked such questions once. Only after millennia of existence had he finally realized that the question had no meaning. The multiverse was infinite, unforgiving, and random. There was no why, not in the sense that the deva meant.
“Because I will it,” he answered. “Will is the only why in the multiverse.”
The deva’s eyes narrowed and he clutched his mace tightly.
“You are mistaken,” said the celestial.
Vhostym almost laughed, but instead said, “Am I? Where now is the god you serve? Where the planetar to whom you report? You think yourself a being of good, a servant of justice. Yet I tell you that there are no such things as good and justice. What is, is. In the multiverse, there is the will of the powerful and nothing more. Consider: If the multiverse was just, how could you be fated to this end?”
The deva stood up straight and fixed Vhostym with a steady gaze. Its radiance returned.
“You will not cause me to question my faith, creature.”
Vhostym frowned, sad for
the doctrinaire deva, and replied, “Then die a fool, Phaedriel.”
The deva tensed, preparing for a fight, no doubt intent on expending his last breath in noble battle. Vhostym would give him no such chance.
The Sojourner moved his hands in a complex gesture and spoke words of power. His will flowed along those words, penetrated the binding, and entered the deva, attempting to dominate his mind. The celestial gritted his teeth and went rigid. Every sinew in his beautiful form was visible. He resisted admirably, but even the deva’s will was no match for Vhostym’s magic. The spell rooted in the celestial’s mind. Phaedriel could still think for himself, but he could not resist obeying Vhostym’s commands.
“Relax your body and remain still,” Vhostym said.
The deva did just that.
Vhostym lowered the magical binding that encased the celestial and flew to the summoning platform. Gently, so as not to aggravate the pain in his bones, he lowered his feet to the granite slab.
“Shhh,” Vhostym said, though Phaedriel had said nothing.
Vhostym placed his hands around the deva’s head. Concentrating briefly, he made his mind into a knife and entered the celestial’s mind.
The deva attempted to resist him, but his own psionic power was paltry compared to that of Vhostym. Systematically, Vhostym began to destroy the connections between the deva’s mind and his body, allowing the celestial to live but preventing him from moving. It took only moments. Vhostym began to withdraw from Phaedriel’s mind.
Before he got out, the deva asked in a small voice, Will I experience pain?
Vhostym answered truthfully.
Yes, he said.